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June 6, 2023

Kogi 2023: Supporters beg Governor Bello to intervene

From Fred Itua, Abuja

A development advocacy group, Grassroots Arise for Growth and Development (GAGaD), has appealed to the Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, to be strategic in the choice of his successor, so that the monumental gains of the last eight years will not be lost.

The national coordinator of the group, Mr Osasona Omoleye, stated this on Wednesday during a press briefing in Abuja. He stressed that the sheer number of aspirants jostling for Lugard House signifies the health of democracy in Kogi.

He cautioned that politics is not an end in itself, but rather, a means to an end, which is a better life for the people. Hence, the need to throw his weight behind a competent candidate and a person of unquestionable character like himself so as to ensure that his legacies are not squandered and ongoing projects are left to rot.

“It amounts to taking a step forward and ten steps backwards, if after the brilliant performance of the last eight years is handed over to a slack hand. Besides, the ruling APC in the Confluence State cannot afford a ‘hard to sell’ candidate,” he said.

Osasona stated that with the governor’s astounding performance and leadership acumen in the areas of infrastructural development, security and social mobilisation, the party under his watch can only be sustained by a winning streak.

“We want that to continue. And the only way that can be sustained is by Governor Yahaya Bello beaming a searchlight on his inner circle, picking a competent, credible and charismatic candidate and supporting him or her. Because in the final analysis, winning the next election is the utmost target of every political party,” he said.

The group further advised the governor to look in the direction of the Chief of Staff, Mohammed Jamiu Asuku, who they described as the astute administrator and competent leader whose track record distinguished him from the packs of contenders.

“He has proven to be one of the best heads among the contenders who enjoys the people’s goodwill across ethnic and religious lines in the state. He calmed, composed and smart,” he said.

“Look, we can’t be probating and reprobation at the same time. We have subscribed to democracy, hence we must keep to the democratic ethos of fair debates, open contests and level playing fields for interested parties. Obsession with zoning engenders mediocrity, breeds incompetence and, ultimately, it is the people who bear the brunt.

“Kogi cannot operate in isolation. Let it be done the way it’s being done in other states of Nigeria. Let every aspirant be free to test their popularity. Those canvassing for zoning are ethnic champions, who don’t have anything to offer the people, except clinging to some primordial sentiments like religion and ethnicity.”

The group through its leadership listed conditions for the next governor of Kogi State, which is the willingness to sustain the current momentum orchestrated by the Bello administration, carrying everybody along to ensure equity peace and harmony.

Mr Osasona further revealed that the incoming president, Bola Ahmed Tinubu will surpass the expectations of Nigerians. This according to him is against the backdrop of Tinubu’s track record as a problem solver.

“I know him, as well as Nigerians, know that Tinubu will go to the end of the earth to bring eggheads to form his cabinet. He has done that before. That’s the basis of the confidence Nigerians have in him. We are in for better days. You can take that to the bank,” he said.

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